"The train itself is great. This set is essentially a 2018 version of the old 7939 Cargo Train from 2011 and as such, has all the detail, features and accessories of the original City Cargo train, but brought up to date.
What lets this down really badly is the nightmare that is the new Powered Up! control system. 'Out of the box', it doesn't work properly. Yes, the supplied controller allows you to control the train. But, I also have the 60197 Passenger Train and the two controllers do not 'talk' to more than one train. The Bluetooth pairing is dodgy at best and not being able to use one controller to control both trains, one on each channel, is a real pain. According to several forums, a firmware update is available which does fix some issues, but this only works with an 'app' for Android or i-OS devices, neither of which I own or intend to own. So unless you are buying a single train or you have a compatible smart device, this is not for you.
I have replaced both sets of Powered Up components with Power Functions items and now the trains not only work as expected but will co-exist with all my existing trains on the same controller(s).
LEGO....please respect the fact that there are those of us older fans who are more than happy to spend £300 in one purchase of two train sets, but do not own or wish to own 'smart' devices. At least give us a PC-compatible method of controlling these trains or a way of updating the firmware without needing an i-Phone or tablet!
I am also concerned that the battery life is nowhere near as good as it was with PF...the constant bi-directional communication between hub and controller eats batteries, even without the motors running."
"I have been a big fan of LEGO trains since my first set (171) in 1974. I have every generation of train from 1966 right through to this new train which arrived today.
Up to LEGO's usual standard of detail and build complexity. Nice use of colours and overall a rather good train and an excellent addition to my collection. The usual selection of Minifigs and accessories and nice details like the signal and the small 'halt' - you can't really describe it as a 'platform'. Comparable to the 7938 City Passenger Train in terms of style, build and what you get in the box. Essentially a 'revised' version of a fairly similar train. The oval of track (complete circle plus 8 straights) is the usual minimum for a 'complete' train set to get you going and, fortunately, the track is the same as the older Power Functions track so if you have other sets, you can simply expand your layouts with ease.
Very few, really. I'm slightly concerned that for what is essentially a similar train set to the 7938 in terms of concept and content is much more expensive (>50%) that its predecessor. Certainly not a 'pocket money' toy. I appreciate that it has a whole new control system (using Bluetooth and 'Powered Up!' instead of the earlier infra-red Power Functions) which means that for those who use tablets or smartphones (I don't!) then an app is available, but the incompatibility with the previous trains means means having to juggle multiple controllers in order to control your entire collection. I have invested heavily in Power Functions, over the last six years, motorising both my Maersk Train and Horizon Express as well as retro-fitting many of my earlier trains with Power Functions.
Perhaps Powered Up! will have future options that enhance the functionality of the trains? I eagerly await some lights (as the original Power Functions units are not compatible) as the cab of the engine appears to have provision for retrofitting headlights. Just controlling a single train motor as it stands right now limits the possibilities somewhat.
Bearing in mind I have no intention to go down the 'smart device route' and will be exclusively using the supplied remote, I find that the controller is very hard to use. The much smaller size of the unit and the small speed +/- buttons rather than the rotary wheels of the Power Functions controller might be great for smaller children, but as a middle-aged man with hands like a bunch of bananas, I find the new controller very un-ergonomic and far too small for my liking.
In summary, a perfectly good train, but I have major reservations about the control system. I suspect I will 'downgrade' it to PF to keep it compatible with my existing collection and make it easier for me to operate. I am sure there are those who will embrace Bluetooth and will possibly want to go the other way and retrofit older trains with this newer system, so I will be interested to see what sort of price point LEGO will pitch a new Smart Hub and PU Train Motor. I suspect it will be more expensive to convert older trains to the new standard than it is to buy the Power Functions kit to convert this train back to infra-red. I await developments (and lights!) with interest."